Integrated telecommunications services provider MTN has unveiled a portable solar energy system in Rwanda’s capital Kigali as part of its efforts to improve access to telecommunications services in the East African nation.
Specifically designed for off-grid regions or areas lacking regular access to electricity, Comeka ReadySet is a multi-functional energy system capable of charging mobile phones and power lights, radios, tablets and other devices.
While it may prove an attractive backup energy solution for urban dwellers, MTN said the device is targeted at businesses and is expected to offer Rwandan enterprises an opportunity to “earn additional revenues from a phone charging business”.
According to MTN, Rwandan businesses can earn up to Rwf 30,000 (approximately US$47) per month or Rwf 360,000 (approximately US$570) per year in revenue.
“This can help business owners keep their shops open for longer and generate extra earnings. We have already had a pilot phase and we have a positive response from end users and we are confident this system will serve our rural subscriber base effectively,” MTN Rwanda’s senior manager for marketing operations Robert Rwakabogo said.
The device, which is designed by US-based Fenix International, is a solar kit made up of a solar panel, mains adapter, two universal mobile phone chargers and a 5 Watt LED Bulb. It also features two USB ports, two car lighter adapter ports, and a display to show energy levels and recharge status.
The device’s battery draws its energy from a 15-watt solar panel and offers a mains adapter while away from sunlight, and can charge up to 10 phones in a day. It further guarantee a 30-hour lighting on full charge.
The ‘Comeka ReadySet’ is available at MTN centres and dealers countrywide for Rwf115,000 (approx US$182).